Reopening day for Village Green Nursery

April 22nd, 2017 at 2:48 pm Posted in Businesses, Gardening, White Center news | No Comments »

Last month, we brought you the story of new owners for Village Green Nursery – and today, it’s their official reopening day. We stopped by for a photo of Noah and Sarah in the rain – after all, April showers bring May flowers. They’re open until 6 pm, and again 10 am-6 pm tomorrow, at 10223 26th SW.

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‘Best Starts for Kids’ road-show meeting in White Center on May 10th

April 17th, 2017 at 5:00 pm Posted in King County | No Comments »

So what are you getting for the voter-approved “Best Starts for Kids” property-tax increase? You get the chance to find out during a “road show” meeting coming up in White Center, one of multiple meetings that are happening around the county:

The following meetings are hosted by Best Starts for Kids. Each 1.5 hour meeting will be focused on Best Starts for Kids’ information with numerous BSK staff present. You can expect a short presentation followed by breakout sessions with BSK staff. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the RFP process, data, evaluation and community partnerships.

The White Center meeting is:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 6:30 p.m.
Bethaday Community Learning Center
605 SW 108th

The list of other meetings around the county is here. Find out more about BS4K here.

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Burglary suspect arrested after helicopter search

April 17th, 2017 at 12:27 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | No Comments »

Last Friday, we got a few questions about the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter searching in White Center. We weren’t able to reach KCSO for details at the time but did get information today from KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West. She says a burglary attempt was reported in the 1200 block of SW 112th around 1 pm Friday: “The homeowner told us that when they returned home, they saw the suspect attempting to get into their garage. Deputies arrived quickly and set up a perimeter to try to catch the suspect. K-9 and Guardian 1 also assisted with the search. The suspect was found hiding in the back yard of a house nearby. He was taken into custody without incident and booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Residential Burglary.” The suspect is 44 and, Sgt. West adds, lives “not too far from the area” of the crime.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: From gunfire to stormwater

April 6th, 2017 at 8:58 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | 5 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The King County Sheriff’s Office gang expert who was supposed to speak to the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council tonight had to cancel due to a last-minute emergency – look for him next month instead – but it was an info-packed meeting anyway:

CRIME UPDATE: King County Sheriff’s Office storefront deputy Bill Kennamer presented this month’s update. “Everything is down pretty significantly except for assaults,” he began. “We’ve had a lot of shootings in the past two months … 6 in the White Center area in the past month … There are two gangs who are going at it, one lives in Burien, one lives in South Park, and they have been shooting each other up from Lynnwood to Kent.” Part of the problem, he says, is that “gangsters” who have long been in prison are now getting out. By shootings, he meant shots-fired, no-injury cases as well as ones where someone was hit.

One attendee said her husband was near one of the recent gunfire exchanges and wondered what more could be done to help deputies not just find shell casings, but find suspects. The more information witnesses can provide, the better, including getting the license plate numbers, Deputy Kennamer said. “It’s hard to do that when you’re ducking,” she retorted. Another attendee suggested taking a picture if you possible can. The deputy said, “we have some really, really smart detectives who are working these cases,” and they are very overworked, but doing the best they can.

Overall, though, things are better in many places, Deputy Kennamer said. No more dopers hanging around at Steve Cox Memorial Park, for example – “there are families using the park.”

The topic of marijuana retailers also came up; the deputy says there’s a new one where Lawless used to be on the west side of 16th. Someone wondered about what was happening with the taxes generated. “I think the county is really letting us down,” said NHUAC president Liz Giba. One place to convey that message: The Community Service Area meeting in June (see info at the end of this story).

And myriad community concerns were surfaced, including how to deal with abandoned vehicles, on private as well as public property (and if it’s private property, what constitutes an abandoned/derelict vehicle?).

COUNTY SURFACE WATER MANAGEMENT UTILITY: From the King County Water and Land Resources Division, deputy director John Taylor spoke about the fee for the service they provide – dealing with water quality and water quantity. His presentation was full of facts about flooding, runoff, and more. Among other things we learned: About half a billion dollars worth of “drainage facilities” in King County right-of-way needs to be replaced in the next 10 years.

Single-family homeowners pay $171/year for surface water management. It generates $27 million that covers “maintenance of existing assets, programs that support agriculture and rural residents, habitat restoration, best-run government (programs).” They have developed a capital-facilities program “that’s going to deal with the stuff most likely to fail first,” Taylor said. The fee money is leveraged to generate more, including, for example, federal grants – he acknowledged those might be in question in the not-too-distant future.

The fee is going up this year – $70 more for each homeowner, a 40% increase (and he acknowledged that was less than they had asked). It will bring in another $8 million. It is a flat rate regardless of how big your property is. The commercial rates go as high as $3,669 per acre (if covered in impervious surface). The new rates will eliminate the backlog of urgent maintenance needs over 10 years, he reiterated. “By dealing with problems now, we will keep rates down in the future,” he added.

Also this year, there’s a special rate for low-income property owners, for the first time. And they’re going to increase grants “for community projects that protect water quality.”

Questions included, what happens if heavy rain brings a stream running past your driveway? The county can take a look at it “to figure out what’s going on.” Discussions of springs, soil, and even The Bog ensued. (“It was the community that turned The Bog around,” Taylor said, “and I think it’s better than it’s been in years – not perfect, but better than it used to be.” And he noted that just moving “the homeless problem” from The Bog “didn’t solve (it), just moved it.”)

Got a question for him? john.taylor@kingcounty.gov and 206-477-4602.

Announcements at the meeting:

KING COUNTY COMMUNITY SERVICE AREA MEETING: The annual town hall is set for June 7th, 7-9 pm at Seola Gardens, with County Council Chair Joe McDermott, Deputy County Executive Rhonda Berry, and Sheriff John Urquhart expected to be there.

WHITE CENTER LIBRARY GUILD: NHUAC secretary Pat Price said the guild’s plant sale is set for noon-4 pm April 28th. (1409 SW 107th)

COALITION FOR DRUG-FREE YOUTH: Rudy Garza will conduct cultural-competency training noon-1:30 pm April 12th at Seola Gardens.

JUBILEE DAYS: Price said that July 19th will be the fireworks and carnival kickoff this year, and the festival will run through the 23rd. Giba noted that the street fair will expand into part of 16th SW this year. Jubilee Days will run through July 23rd.

MARY’S PLACE VOLUNTEERING: NHUAC board member Roslyn Hyde said they especially need people in mornings and evenings. She also said that dropping off donations unannounced is discouraged so let the shelter know in advance if you would like to donate something. She said the shelter is apparently up to about 30 people now.

CAMP SECOND CHANCE ADVISORY COUNCIL: The new advisory council for the Seattle-sanctioned encampment is still taking applicants and expecting to meet in early May.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets first Thursdays most months, 7 pm, at the NH Fire District headquarters (1243 SW 112th). Between meetings, check for updates at northhighlineuac.org.

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White Center food and drink: Zanzibar now open

April 6th, 2017 at 8:40 pm Posted in Beverages, Fun, restaurants, White Center news | No Comments »

You’ve probably seen the sign, if you haven’t been in already. Now we have confirmation that Zanzibar has opened at 9609 1/2 16th SW. From Sarah Friesema:

New bar with food has opened in White Center – Zanzibar features local craft beer on tap, wine, full liquor license, and food including panini sandwiches and some street food favorites. Live music, no TVs, and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Open 3 pm to 11 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

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Seattle City Light work ahead to ‘upgrade electronic equipment’ on utility poles

April 6th, 2017 at 3:21 pm Posted in utilities, White Center news | No Comments »


(Click image to go to full-size map on City Light’s website)

Those locations in White Center, Top Hat, and other parts of North Highline are where Seattle City Light is about to begin a six-week project “to upgrade electronic equipment on 35 existing utility poles.” More details:

This project is an expansion of existing communications networks. The equipment modifications will increase public safety and enhanced-911 capabilities. The work will also improve wireless services to areas, allowing for enhanced connectivity and faster 4G service.

During this project, City Light crews will also have the opportunity to upgrade its infrastructure and replace utility poles that are in poor condition.

There are no maintenance power outages planned for this work. Some traffic and parking impacts are expected in the immediate work areas. Crews will be careful to maintain access to driveways.

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King County Housing Authority reopens Section 8 waiting list, starting today

April 5th, 2017 at 7:48 am Posted in housing, White Center news | No Comments »

From the King County Housing Authority – this starts today:

With a record number of low-income households around King County struggling to pay the rent, the King County Housing Authority will be re-opening its waiting list for Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers for only the second time since 2011.

From Wednesday, April 5 through Tuesday, April 18 at 4 p.m. PDT, households in need of rental assistance can apply for KCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program waitlist. Registration for the lottery is free and available only at www.kcha.org.

The program currently provides rental subsidies to over 11,300 low-income households with more than 28,400 family members in King County outside of Seattle and Renton. Fifty-seven percent of participating households have at least one elderly or disabled member. More than 11,000 children are currently housed with these subsidies, most of which flow to the over 2,500 private landlords participating in the program.

“The region’s extraordinary increase in rents is leaving far too many community members behind. Housing Choice Vouchers – rental assistance ─ is an essential resource for our most vulnerable neighbors – low-wage families with children, elderly households, people with disabilities, and veterans. Without this resource many of these households would be homeless,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman. “Having stable housing is critical to other important community issues, including school success for children and better health and reduced health-care costs for seniors.

According to the American Communities Survey (2011-2015) 47 percent of rental households in King County are considered cost-burdened and pay more than they can afford for housing. During the 2015-16 school year school districts in King County reported 8,486 homeless school children. King County’s 2016 annual point-in-time-homeless census reported over 10,000 people living unsheltered or in emergency or transitional housing on a single night.

The Housing Choice Voucher program enables low-income families to find a home in the private rental market. Generally, KCHA pays the difference between the rent charged by a landlord and the assisted family’s rental contribution, which is set at approximately 30 percent of the household’s income.
The need for this program has far exceeded available resources. In 2015 when the waiting list was last open, KCHA received 22,000 applications from eligible households from which 2,500 families were randomly selected by lottery for the waiting list. KCHA has now served nearly everyone on that list.

KCHA expects thousands of families to apply for the openings. It will conduct a computerized lottery among qualified families to select 3,500 households which will be placed in random order on the waiting list.

How quickly households will be served depends in large part on where Congress goes with the funding of this program. Cuts proposed by the current administration would reduce this program by some 200,000 households nationally over the next year.

The chances of being selected for the waiting list are the same no matter when households apply during the open registration period. KCHA will notify families by the end of May if they are being placed on the application list.

More information about applicant eligibility, free online computer access, or assistance with the application process can be found at kcha.org/housing/vouchers/questions/

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GRAFFITI & GANGS: King County Sheriff’s Office guest @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council on Thursday

April 3rd, 2017 at 1:06 am Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news | No Comments »

Crime and safety are always hot topics and this month, they’re at the center of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s monthly meeting. From NHUAC president Liz Giba:

When: Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 7 pm

Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center
(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

Please join North Highline’s volunteer community council at our April 6, 2017 meeting.

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard

Detective Joe Gagliardi of the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) will be joining us this month.

Detective Gagliardi is highly regarded as an expert on gangs in the Sheriff’s Office. Do you know there are different types of graffiti? Have you wondered whether the graffiti you’ve been seeing is gang-related? Have you heard stories about local gang activity? Join us on Thursday and you’ll surely learn some things about gangs and how they operate from Detective Gagliardi and Deputy Bill Kennamer, our storefront deputy.

Knowledge is power. Come learn, share and help make our community a better place.

Thursday, April 6th at 7 pm – Bring a Neighbor

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You can call him ‘Mayor Mac’: Jubilee Days fundraiser voters choose ‘Mac’ McElroy as Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center

April 1st, 2017 at 8:56 pm Posted in White Center Eagles, White Center Jubilee Days, White Center news | 3 Comments »

(WCN photos by Patrick Sand)

The results are in and White Center has its new Unofficial Official Mayor – who happens to have run for an “official” political office before (State Legislature, 2010) – the namesake and proprietor of Mac’s Triangle Pub, Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy. If somehow you don’t know Mac, that’s him at the center of our photo above, with, left to right, Justin Cline, a stand-in for Floyd Dog (dogs aren’t allowed at the White Center Eagles HQ), Christine Spencer, and Brian Cooper. Big crowd for the Jubilee Days benefit dinner at which the voting results were announced:

Definitely a White Center who’s-who there tonight – not just the candidates! Look for more fun stuff in advance of Jubilee Days; the festival itself is happening July 19th-July 23rd this year.

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New owners for McLendon Hardware chain

March 31st, 2017 at 11:00 am Posted in Businesses, White Center news | Comments Off on New owners for McLendon Hardware chain

(King County photo)

McLendon Hardware, which has stores in White Center and six other Western Washington communities, has a new out-of-state owner. After a tip, we confirmed this with McLendon’s marketing director Steve Miller, who said a news release is forthcoming. The buyer is Central Network Retail Group, whose website says it has 14 brands in 10 states, mostly in the Southeast. Employees were told this morning that the ownership change will take effect next month and that McLendon will keep its name. McLendon’s history dates back to 1926, according to its website, which notes that the White Center store opened in 1993.

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UPDATE: Shooting investigation in White Center

March 30th, 2017 at 10:43 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | Comments Off on UPDATE: Shooting investigation in White Center

10:43 PM: King County Sheriff’s Deputies are currently investigating a shooting, according to scanner traffic. A victim was reportedly found at 15th and 98th, but the shooting is said to have happened near the Roxbury Safeway. Right now they’re talking to a possible suspect. We’ll update if we find out anything more.

10:58 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says 15th and 98th is where the victim was shot; the Roxbury Safeway involvement was because of a possible suspect in that area, but “that turned out not to be the case,” and they are continuing to look for the suspect. Sgt. West says the victim is a man whose injury is “serious but not life-threatening.”

11:07 PM: Sgt. West says the victim is being taken to Harborview. He had called 911 to say he was shot, and was in a car when they found him, so they’re not certain about the circumstances so far.

FRIDAY, 10:50 AM: We checked in again with Sgt. West this morning. She says the victim, contrary to rumor, DID survive. As to how and why this happened, investigators still don’t know. Please contact KCSO if you have information.

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SATURDAY: Dick Thurnau Memorial Park needs you to help its forest become healthier

March 30th, 2017 at 9:53 pm Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news | Comments Off on SATURDAY: Dick Thurnau Memorial Park needs you to help its forest become healthier

Your neighbors, and the friendly folks from King County Parks, would love to see you at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park on Saturday (April 1st). Here’s the invitation from volunteer coordinator Lina Rose:

Join King County Parks Volunteer Program staff and fellow community members to help make Thurnau Memorial Park a healthier forest on April 1st! We will begin our event at 9 am and work on digging out an invasive weed called English ivy (not poison ivy!) and wrap up by 1 pm. Our goal is to help increase the plant diversity in the park so it can be a healthier place for people and animals to enjoy. We will also have some environmental education about the important role our forests and parks play in White Center. Event is free and all are welcome!

If you can spare some time Saturday morning to be part of this, please contact Lina for more info and to RSVP – lina.rose@kingcounty.gov or 206.491.5014.

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Gunfire, damage in White Center

March 30th, 2017 at 10:26 am Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 2 Comments »

For those asking about the incident at 14th SW and SW 102nd on Wednesday evening: We went to the scene after a tip, but aside from the fact that there were bullet holes in the car shown in our photo, didn’t find out much. So this morning, we asked King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, who tells WCN:

Yesterday around 5:15 pm we received a call of shots being fired in the area of the 1400 block of SW 102nd. When we arrived, we found an Acura that had crashed into a small concrete wall and a parked truck in the 1400 block of SW 102nd.

Witnesses told us people in the Acura and another (unknown) car were shooting at each other from the vehicles. After the exchange of gunfire, both cars fled in different directions; the Acura struck the concrete wall and truck. The occupants of the Acura fled on foot. There was an unoccupied vehicle that was struck by the gunfire that was parked nearby. Does not appear as though anyone was struck by bullets.

So, no arrests so far.

P.S. If you’re wondering – well, they have the car, did they find its owners? – Sgt. West explains that while the car was not reported as stolen, there is a “report of sale” on file with its new owner “not listed.”

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UPDATE: White Center bank-robbery suspect arrested in Burien

March 29th, 2017 at 1:29 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | 3 Comments »

FIRST REPORT, 1:29 PM: Thanks to Matt from Moonshot Coffee for the first tip on this – the US Bank in the 9800 block of 15th SW in White Center has been robbed. We’ve also just received information from King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, who says the robber gave the teller a note and then got away on foot. No description yet. They’re using a K-9 team for the search. More to come.

2:01 PM UPDATE: Sgt. West just sent this:

Suspect is a white male, 20s, last seen wearing black hoody, black gloves, blue jeans, and a red beanie. May have a tattoo on his neck.

Also added a photo from Matt (thank you!).

3:49 PM UPDATE: And another update from Sgt. West – a suspect has been arrested in Burien. “He was found in the Burien Library by one of our detectives. He is a 24-year-old transient man.” Sgt. West says the robber did not get away with any money.

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SATURDAY NIGHT: Jubilee Days fundraiser to ‘elect’ Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center

March 28th, 2017 at 3:48 pm Posted in Fun, White Center Jubilee Days, White Center news | Comments Off on SATURDAY NIGHT: Jubilee Days fundraiser to ‘elect’ Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center

If you don’t already have your ticket(s) for this – hurry! It’s a fun(draiser) for White Center’s Jubilee Days festival:

Who will become the first Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center??

Join us on April 1, 2017, at the White Center Eagles for the election of the first-ever Unofficial Official Mayor of White Center!

The Mayor of White Center will be elected via “campaign donations” raised by each candidate. The final election will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017, and the winner will be determined by the number of “votes” (i.e. dollars) raised in their name. All proceeds go to support the production of White Center Jubilee Days.

The final candidates for Mayor of White Center are:

• Justin Cline
• Brian Cooper
• Floyd Dog
• Donnie “D” McDermott
• Geoffrey “MacDaddy” McElroy
• Christine Spencer

To “vote” for your favorite candidate by contributing to their campaign, go here.

The April 1st Election Fundraising Event at White Center Eagles will feature:

• Prime Rib Dinner!
• Door prizes!
• DJ Plantkiller!
• Mayoral Debates!
• Last-chance voting and announcement of the election winner!

Tickets are $35 each, and include dinner, or $250 for a table for eight people. Come join us for an exciting election night in White Center!

April 1st White Center Mayoral Election Fundraiser

Saturday, April 1, 2017 – 6 pm

White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW

Tickets, voting, and more information available at jubileedays.org.

This year’s dates for Jubilee Days, by the way, are July 19-23.

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VIDEO: Almost 400 at White Center 5K 2017 in Saturday sunshine

March 25th, 2017 at 11:37 am Posted in Sports, White Center news | Comments Off on VIDEO: Almost 400 at White Center 5K 2017 in Saturday sunshine

(WCN video and photos by Patrick Sand)

Perfect setting for this year’s White Center 5K, a sunny Saturday morning. Organizers told us at least 370 people were signed up, between preregistration and same-day signups. This year’s theme was again a celebration of superheroes, and many costumed participants joined in:

We also caught some of the runners passing by the north side of White Center Heights Elementary:

As noted here, proceeds benefit three White Center nonprofits. According to the results posted online, first finisher was 27-year-old Samuel Bradley-Kelly, just under 17:57 … first female finisher was 48-year-old Jen Hiner, just under 24:05.

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SATURDAY MORNING: White Center 5K 2017

March 24th, 2017 at 10:10 pm Posted in Fun, How to Help, White Center news | Comments Off on SATURDAY MORNING: White Center 5K 2017

Start your weekend in a big way – at the White Center 5K. It takes off from White Center Heights Park (7th SW/SW 102nd) Saturday morning, with this schedule:

7:30 Doors Opens to the public
8:45 Warm-Up Activity
9:00 Racers Begin
9:10 Walkers Begin
10:00 Entertainment, Race Winners Announced

If you missed out on online registration, here’s what you’ll pay to sign up right before the race:

0-6: Free
7-18: $30
19-59: $40
60+: $30

Your race fees benefit three local nonprofits:

White Center Community Development Association
YES Foundation of White Center
White Center Food Bank

And when it’s all said and done, you’ll find the Saturday race results here.

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PHOTOS: Opening day for Mary’s Place @ White Center Family Shelter

March 21st, 2017 at 4:23 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | 5 Comments »

There are signs … and smiles. We visited the new White Center Family Shelter at midday today as they were expecting their first guests to arrive … a family of nine, according to executive director Marty Hartman of Mary’s Place, which is operating the shelter and has been working intensively to get it ready, with help from what Hartman declared “an amazing community.”

What was a vintage-1961 public-health clinic is now ready to temporarily house families totaling up to 35 people in phase 1 … and then when more features can be added, such as additional showers, they’ll be able to accept a few dozen more. Hartman showed us around between this morning’s job fair and guest arrival.

Welcoming messages are everywhere inside the converted clinic:

It’s remarkable to think about how far this plan has come with community support. Just six months ago, first word of what was at the time going to be a low-barrier adults-only shelter brought furious opposition. Mary’s Place was not involved at that time; they were brought in after King County backpedaled and worked with a community committee to decide how to best use the ex-clinic, and the decision was to make it a family shelter, operated by Mary’s Place. The building needed some modifications, and more are to come, but for now, not only are there places for people to sleep, there are also rooms for kids and teens activities, with murals painted by volunteers:

And lots of storage, with items awaiting those who need them:

Speaking of items, we asked what if anything was needed, in terms of donations? Here’s the current list:

Volunteer help also will be welcome – you can sign up through the Mary’s Place website.

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TUESDAY: Job fair at White Center Family Shelter before it officially opens

March 20th, 2017 at 7:52 pm Posted in Jobs, White Center news | Comments Off on TUESDAY: Job fair at White Center Family Shelter before it officially opens

One more thing about the White Center Family Shelter‘s official opening tomorrow – it will be preceded by a job fair:

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FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

March 17th, 2017 at 2:54 pm Posted in King County, People, White Center news | Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Shelter set to open Tuesday

As mentioned earlier this week, there’s another work party at the future White Center family shelter at 8th/108th tomorrow (Saturday). And today, King County confirms that the shelter is set to officially open on Tuesday (March 21st). More to come.

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